Open main menu

Sir James Haldane Stewart Lockhart,[a] KCMG (25 May 1858 – 26 February 1937) was a British colonial official in Hong Kong and China for more than 40 years. He also was a Sinologist who made pioneering translations. (His name's official Chinese translation is 駱克 (Cantonese: Lok Hak).)

Sir James Stewart Lockhart
Tcitp d782 j h stewart lockhart commissioner at weihaiwei.jpg
Registrar-General of Hong Kong
In office
Preceded byFrederick Stewart
Succeeded byArthur Winbolt Brewin
Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong
In office
Preceded byGeorge O'Brien
Succeeded byFrancis Henry May
Commissioner of Weihaiwei
In office
Preceded byJohn Dodson Daintree
Succeeded byArthur Powlett Blunt
Personal details
Born25 May 1858
Ardsheal, Argyllshire, Scotland
Died26 February 1937(1937-02-26) (aged 78)
London, England
ProfessionCivil administrator, sinologist

Early lifeEdit

Born as James Haldane Lockhart in Ardsheal, Argyllshire, Scotland, his parents were Anna Rebecca Charlotte Stewart and Miles Lockhart of Lismore, Argyll.[3] His grandfather was banker James Lockhart. He attended King William's College (1868–72), George Watson's College, and the University of Edinburgh, and attempted to enter the civil service in India.[4] Failing to do that, Lockhart took a Colonial Service cadetship in Hong Kong in 1878.[5]

Colonial service in Hong KongEdit

After joining the Hong Kong Government in 1882, Lockhart rose through the ranks of Hong Kong's civil service. He was Registrar General and Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong, and later became Commissioner of Weihaiwei (1902[6]–1927), the British coastal enclave returned to China in 1930. He had a more positive relationship with Hong Kong Chinese due to this knowledge of Cantonese and was friends with Ho Kai.[7] Lockhart was made a member of the Hong Kong Legislative and Executive Councils.

He founded the Hong Kong Football Club in 1886, situated within the Happy Valley Racecourse. The club now plays host to the Hong Kong 10s rugby tournament.[8]

Sinological serviceEdit

While they were both training in Hong Kong, Lockhart became friends with Reginald Johnston, who made his reputation while serving in Weihaiwei. Both men devoted great energy to their studies of Chinese language and classical literature, and both published scholarly works. Johnston was also a great emotional support to Lockhart and his family. [9] Johnston later wrote that since Lockhart had a sound training in Greek and Latin at Edinburgh University, he took easily to the study of Chinese, another classical language. The China Review, a journal for scholarly work by China coast foreigners, published Lockhart's early work, which mainly concerned linguistic questions. Lockhart was fluent in Cantonese, Johnston reported, and acquired a working knowledge of Mandarin when he was posted to Weihaiwei.[10]

Numismatics and art collectingEdit

Lockhart was particularly interested in collecting and studying Chinese coins, and he produced several publications on numismatics.[11][12] He also made a thorough study of Chinese art and literature, and formed a large collection of paintings, ink rubbings and decorative arts, some of which was displayed in 1928.[13] The collection was donated by his daughter, Betty Joel, to his alma mater, George Watson's College, and is currently on a long-term loan to the National Museum of Scotland. Lockhart's Chinese books were purchased by Cambridge University Library; his photographs are on loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Later lifeEdit

After retiring from the Colonial Service, Lockhart return to Britain. He became an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society and member of the School of Oriental Studies at the University of London.[14]

Honours and legacyEdit

His appointment of CMG was signed by Queen Victoria on 21 May 1898, while his appointment of KCMG was signed by King Edward VII on 9 November 1908.[15] He received an honorary LLD degree from the University of Hong Kong in 1918.

Lockhart Road in Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island, is named after him.


In 1889, Lockhart married Edith Louise Rider Hancock. They had one son and two daughters: Charles, Mary (known by her married and professional name Betty Joel), and Margaret.[16] He returned with his family to England in 1927 and died in London in 1937.[17]


  1. ^ Born James Haldane Lockhart, he added the name of his mother's family, Stewart of Lorne, as a double surname when he married in 1889.[1] His preferred name was James Stewart Lockhart for most of his working life.[2]
  1. ^ Tsang, Steve (2007). Governing Hong Kong. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 199. ISBN 9781845115258.
  2. ^ Airlie, Shiona (2010) [1989]. Thistle and Bamboo: The Life and Times of Sir James Stewart Lockhart. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. p. 210. ISBN 9789888028924.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ R. F. Johnston, "James H. Stewart Lockhart, (Obituary Notice)," The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and IrelandNo. 2 (Apr., 1937), pp. 391-393 [1].
  6. ^ "No. 27403". The London Gazette. 4 February 1902. p. 709.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Airlie (1989), pp. 128-129.
  10. ^ Lethbridge (1978), p. 146.
  11. ^ Airlie (1989), p. 72.
  12. ^ White (1976).
  13. ^ Johnston, "Obituary".
  14. ^
  15. ^ National Library of Scotland. "Inventory Acc.4138 Papers of Sir James Haldane Stewart Lockhart, K.C.M.G. (1858–1947)" (PDF). Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  16. ^ Airlie (1989), p. 59.
  17. ^ Johnston, "Obituary."

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Lockhart, James H. Stewart (1893). A Manual of Chinese Quotations, Being a Translation of the Ch'êng Yü K'ao. Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh.
  • Lockhart, James H. Stewart (1915). The Stewart Lockhart Collection of Chinese Copper Coins. Shanghai etc.: Kelly & Walsh, limited.
  • Fraser, Everard Duncan Home, Ming Tso-ch*°u and James H. Stewart Lockhart (1930). Index to the Tso Chuan. London, New York: Oxford university press H. Milford.
  • Lockhart, James H. Stewart (1975). The Lockhart Collection of Chinese Copper Coins. Lawrence, Mass.: Quarterman Publications. ISBN 0880000562.
  • White, R. Byron, James H. Stewart Lockhart and Marjorie White (1976). A Comprehensive Finding List of Chinese Cash: T'ang to Republic K'ai Yuan to Min Kuo, 618 Ad to 1912 Ad, Together with Lockhart's Listing of the Chinese Dynasties. Sheldonville, MA: White. ISBN 0917114019.


  • Edinburgh City Art Centre (1982). An Ardent Collector: An Exhibition of the Stewart Lockhart Collection. ISBN 9780950843605.
  • Airlie, Shiona (1989). Thistle and Bamboo: The Life and Times of Sir James Stewart Lockhart. Hong Kong; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195842111.
  • Sonia Lightfoot (2008). The Chinese painting collection and correspondence of Sir James Stewart Lockhart (1858-1937). E. Mellen Press. ISBN 9780773450790.
  • "Sir James Haldane Stewart Lockhart: Colonial Civil Servant and Scholar," Lethbridge, Henry J. (1978). Hong Kong, Stability and Change: A Collection of Essays. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195804023.
Government offices
Preceded by
Frederick Stewart
Registrar-General of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Arthur Winbolt Brewin
Preceded by
George Thomas Michael O'Brien
Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Henry May
Preceded by
John Dodson Daintree
Commissioner of Weihaiwei
Succeeded by
Arthur Powlett Blunt
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Brown
President of the Sanitary Board
Succeeded by
Francis Alfred Cooper